Each year, KSBA releases a summary of priorities for improving education and strengthening districts. Listed below are KSBA's top legislative priorities for the 2022 Regular Session of the General Assembly. You may also view/download a printable version of these priorities.
Enacting a state budget that adequately provides for all students of our common schools
We ask the General Assembly to:
- Increase funding allocated through Base SEEK, as the most critical component of school funding that promotes equity across districts;
- Provide permanent state funding for full-day kindergarten;
- Increase reimbursement for transporting students to address the bus driver shortage;
- Continue to equalize local nickel taxes levied by school boards for facility improvements;
- Increase funding districts receive through the Learning & Results Services (LARS) programs that directly serve students such as family resource and youth services centers (FRYSCs), instructional resources, state agency children, gifted and talented, and extended school services (ESS);
- Create a SEEK add-on for students in foster care to help us serve their special needs and actions mandated by state and federal laws;
- Increase the SEEK add-on rates for exceptional children and those with Limited English Proficiency to address the growth in both these populations;
- Continue to appropriate full actuarially determined contributions to the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) and full amount needed for school employee health insurance.
Supporting local board leadership and balancing the roles of school-based decision making councils (SBDMs) and boards
Our local schools belong to their communities. Whenever that connection is threatened, we lose public support and students suffer. We need legislators to support local board authority and improve the balance of SBDM and board roles, advancing accountability to the whole community and recognizing that every district is unique. We ask the General Assembly to allow superintendents to select principals after SBDM consultation; and to enhance the transparency of SBDM work and to not enact uniform issue-by-issue mandates on districts.
Restructuring state-required professional development to refocus time, energy and money on training most impactful on student achievement
Over the years, many hours of training on a multitude of topics have been enacted in statute for district employees, becoming a hindrance to the development of stronger instructional skills among our educators. We ask the General Assembly to restructure the PD statute to allow educators to focus on improvement of their core instructional skills and practices.
Extending legal liability protections provided to local school boards, districts and employees
Every tax dollar spent in a courtroom is a dollar not spent in a classroom. Because of the ongoing pandemic, we ask the General Assembly to extend the protections of 2021 RS Senate Bill 5 afforded to school boards, board members, districts and employees for another year.
Helping boards to recruit bus drivers from among existing staff with stipend reforms
Every district faces a critical shortage of bus drivers, and many existing staff could help fill these roles with training and incentives. We ask the General Assembly to allow driver duty stipends paid to existing employees to count as creditable compensation for pension calculations.
“If . . . we forget the children, and, in the slightest degree, fail to appreciate the obligations of the State to provide sufficient facilities for training them to be good citizens, we will . . . receive in the great hereafter anathemas, and not ascriptions of praise; and our work, however good in other respects . . . will undoubtedly, be condemned.”
- Delegate William M. Beckner, explaining Section 183 at the Constitutional Convention on March 9, 1891